Bournemouth Film & Comic Con September 2016
Convention time again! Hurray! My bags are packed, I’m ready to go! How excited are we….
Except, we wasn’t. Not this time. Unfortunately ALL of the main guests had to cancel weeks before the event (some even literally days beforehand) including Julie Benz (who I personally was looking forward to meeting), Lance Henriksen (another photo op I had booked), Carl Weathers and Kristanna Loken. The negativity going on in the forums was contagious and I was feeling pretty down in the dumps about it all to be honest. Then to make things worse, I had booked the hotel without reading the reviews and it looked like we were headed for another cesspit! Excitement was definitely not on the agenda!
So off we set on the 2nd of September to sunny Bouremouth! Except it wasn’t. The weather was as miserable as our mood. Not helped by the fact I had to say goodbye to my precious fur baby.
Kinky’s face cracks me up in this photo, he genuinely looks concerned! “Noooo, she’s leaving me again!”
The journey to Bouremouth was pretty horrendous. Slow, wet and incredibly boring. The only saving grace was passing a sign for Terminus which of course had my fangirl alert on a high. Should we follow the sat-nav to Bournemouth or take a chance and go find Gareth? If you don’t know what I’m talking about you’re probably not a fan of The Walking Dead.
We eventually got there and collected our wristbands.
Ooooh, pretty green ones this time. I likey 🙂
We found our table, a nice little place at the end of the row near the gaming station which we were both very happy about. Okay so not everything was bad. As it worked so well for London, we decided to leave our boxes there, go park the car at it’s home for the weekend and check into the hotel, which we really wasn’t looking forward to.
Finding our rented carpark space for the weekend was simple and not too far away from either the hotel or the International Centre. Then the most amazing thing happened, as we parked up and got our baggage out of the car we were greeted by the owner of the carpark space, a lovely lovely woman called Lorraine. I said it on the review I left for her and I’ll say it again, she was one of the biggest sweethearts on the face of the planet. She gave us the wamest of welcomes and it was just a real genuine pleasure to meet her. Even though it was cold and wet, she stood and talked to us for about 10 minutes and even offered to invite us inside because we were unsure where the hotel was located. I did joke that we were quite concerned about the state of the hotel and we might come back later with our suitcases asking if we could sleep on her floor. Apparently she had a blow up mattress we could use! LOL! But seriously, she was utterly delightful and I have to say that it really did lift my mood.
So next was the dreaded journey to the hotel. Luckily I was in a much better mood now and prepared for anything. I needn’t have worried. Do you know what? There was absolutely NOTHING wrong with the hotel at all! NOTHING! The owners were very friendly and not rude as stated in the reviews, there was nothing filthy about the place as far as I could see and there definitely was no drug dealing going on outside or inside the hotel. Yes, I’m serious, that’s what was written about the place. As for it needing “updating”, I’m really not there to judge the wallpaper and could care less. The room was clean and had everything we needed. Things were definitely looking up.
Next stop was back to the International Centre to set up. It was actually gone 4pm by this point and I was getting rather stressed about having it all done in time but we managed it somehow
and I didn’t have to swear at Bret that much.
Our spiffy looking table 🙂
By this point, Bret and I were absolutely famished! It was raining and dark and we had no idea where to go in Bournemouth so we just jumped into the nearest restaurant possible. It just happened to be a nice looking Italian restaurant called Cristallo. Now I would have taken a photo of our delicious dinner (which actually was amazingly delicious) but we were so hungry we literally inhaled it in a matter of minutes. I would have taken a photo of our empty plates but we inhaled those too! And dessert! And a liquer coffee/hot chocolate!
With our bellies content we made our way back to the hotel and looked forward to a good night’s sleep.
Snug as a bug in a rug!
The next morning, Bret and I decided to sample the breakfast buffet rather than get to the International Centre early. Spot on choice! The breakfast was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! It was a help yourself, all you can eat buffet and it was incredible. As well as the usual juices, cereals, yoghurt, breads, fruits and jam it also had bacon, sausages, hash browns, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and beans. By the time I had finished mine I had already mentally worked out exactly what I would be having tomorrow.
So with a hearty breafast being just what the doctor ordered we set off to the International Centre.
Good Morning from the PlayBox Team :)))
Due to the amount of guests who pulled out there wasn’t a whole lot of fangirling going on this weekend. However, all was not lost as I did have one photo op to attend. I don’t know if you remember my fangirl session from Brighton a few months ago. I met Paul Darrow who played Avon in Blake’s 7 (one of my favourite childhood TV programmes). Well today I was meeting the sexy villian of the show, Servalan played by the incredibly beautiful Jacqueline Pearce.
Here she is, back in the day making evil look hot as hell.
Jacqueline hasn’t changed much to be honest, she just looks a little bit older and a whole lot of incredible!
Jacqueline Pearce and
The Michelin Man Candy
Please excuse the rather unflattering photo of me but it’s hard not to look like an inflatable dinghy standing next to Jacqueline Pearce. The woman is sooooo tiny! Can you believe she is 73 years old? 73 years old!! She was absolutely lovely though. As I walked up to her she gasped and said “look at you, you look fabulous!” I thanked her and told her that she did too. We posed for the photo and I thanked her again and told her it had been such a pleasure to meet her. She took me by the hand and told me that the pleasure was all hers. Such a warm and lovely lady.
So that was my fangirl shift over and done with for the weekend but it was quality over quantity and that was good enough for me. I made my way back to the table so that Bret could go off and spend his pocket money. Was it a good idea?
Right you are then Bret! Ummm, very nice indeed.
Of course it was only time before we found a few spare minutes to take some pointless selfies.
What time is it? It’s Pointless Selfie Time! YAYYYY!!!
You know how much we love a bit of P.S.T over at PlayBox. The weekend was definitely turning out a lot more fun than we had anticipated and infact we were really enjoying ourselves. We were getting some sales, I christened our fancy new card machine (yes, that’s right, we are now professional conventioners) and we were enjoying the whole atmosphere. I just want to give a HUGE HUGE shout out to all of the cosplayers. As usual I am in total awe of you, the effort you guys go to has to be applauded and you always look as though you are having the BESTEST fun!
There was a rumble in this man’s tummy that only nachos could cure. And damn did they look good!
Just a bit more P.S.T before the end of our day because we earnt it 😉
It was cold, rainy and miserable when we stepped out into the breezy sea air but at least it was still light so we decided to go look for somewhere to eat a bit further away. After debating a couple of possibilities we ended up at a place called Aruba which was an extremely lively place to say the least. Personally, if I’d known how loud it was in there (it was pretty hard to have a conversation) I would have gone somewhere else but that’s me being old and fuddy. I just like to relax after a long hard day of taking silly pointless selfies.
The menu was quite impressive but Bret and I decided that instead of choosing our usual fare (ribs, steak, fries, ribs, steak, fries, ribs, steak, fries) we would dare to step into the unknown and each choose something entirely different. Something that we would not normally go for. Yes, we are Dare Devils. Have you ever heard of anything so cool and edgy?
Paella For One
I chose the Paella for one. It came with everything, chicken, chorizo, mussels (my first time trying them and more than likely my last), squid and large prawns with their heads still attached and I won’t even mention the ones with roe
which did make me feel a bit squeamish 😐 Don’t get me wrong, it was actually pretty damn good you know but less than halfway through I started to wish I’d gone for the ribs.
Aruba Chicken Noodles
Bret played it safe, this was basically chicken chow mein with more vegetables than he’s ever consumed in his entire lifetime as a whole. And infact still more vegetables than he’s ever consumed because he left them all in the bowl. Needless to say he also started to wish halfway through that he had gone for the ribs. We won’t be playing that game again.
After dinner we made a quick stop at the local convenience store so I could buy a bottle of wine. One of my favourite sparkling wines was on special offer for £10 whereas at the restaurant I would have had to pay a billion times that much. That’s me trying to be sensible and not miserable, honest ;P
Back at the hotel we climbed into our comfy beds and watched tv for the rest of the night. I had my bottle of wine which unfortunately I had to drink using a tea cup and can I just say, it did not taste right. Next time I’ll be packing a wine glass!
Sunday morning and all I could think about was….. BREAKFAST!! Oh my god, I think I literally dreamed about it to be honest and I couldn’t wait for my alarm to go off so I could get dressed and go and attack the delicious buffet awaiting me. It didn’t disappoint either and I have to admit that I probably had a double share knowing that a) I had no photo ops today and b) I wouldn’t be eating dinner until I got home which was at least 13 hours later. That’s my excuse anyway 😉
So let me just make it clear that we had absolutely nothing but a positive experience at the MaeMar Hotel it’s cheap and cheerful, it’s not the Hilton and doesn’t pretend to be but I believe a lot of the reviews were unwarranted. I definitely wouldn’t hesitate in staying there again and especially because their breakfast was PHENOMENAL!
We got to the International Centre ready to start our day.
Good Morning Everyone :)))
No fangirling opportunities today but that didn’t stop us from having a great time. We had some lovely customers and there’s one I would especially like to give a shout out too. Her name was Emii, she looked amazingly awesome as Harley Quinn and after buying some of my wares she handed me a beautifully wrapped package and told me she had her own Etsy shop and had made some jewellery. I opened the gift and inside was the cutest cross stitch necklace she had made, along with her business card. It was such a wonderful and generous gesture and I really wanted to share her work on my website.
Pokemon Pokeball Cross Stitch Hoop Necklace
Her work is exquisite and I really recommend that you check out her amazing creations. You can find her at Blossomxstitch please please go and take a look at her work.
The afternoon turned a little quiet although the fangirl inside me did have an explosion when I noticed Dave Prowse standing right next to my table. I looked up and did a double take before managing to muster a “hello”. Grow up? Me? Nahhh, never!
Our last chance at some P.S.T before we had to start packing up.
So there we have it. We hadn’t been looking forward to this one but it actually turned out to be such a fun weekend and to be honest I should have known better. It’s not just the guests who make the convention, it’s the attendees, the atmosphere and a whole lot more. As always it was lovely seeing some familiar faces and so nice to meet new ones. Thank you to each and every customer who visited us that weekend, we appreciate all of you. The next convention for us is London Comic Con at the Excel which will be our most ambitious project yet (and probably ever).
Also, can I just mention that the chairs provided at The International Centre were evil death traps! My son had complained about them being dodgy pretty much as soon as we arrived and I just thought he was being a drama queen. Do you remember back at school when you used to lean back on your chair just a little bit too far and then have a mini heart attack because the chair slipped and you’d have to grab hold of your desk like a total ninja boss to prevent from falling (although I remember one classmate doing that and taking the whole desk with her as well. Oh did I laugh!!). Anyway, these chairs were the opposite of that, if you leant forward on them just a fraction they would literally throw you out. I learnt the hard way, should have listened to my son. Leant forward and got thrown onto my table.
OUCH! My tattoo covers most of it up but I had quite the bruise.
Lesson of the day: Beward the chairs at The International Centre.